Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Moving Around

The babies are on the move, and it scares us. Elliott can go anywhere he wants. He pulls a lot with his arms still but is also beginning to orchestrate his legs into the mix. This morning he also pulled up onto his knees. Mazie is moving around a lot. She pulls with her arms, though I have seen her up on all fours thinking very hard about what needs to be done. She is definitely our little processor. She is rocking back and forth on all fours. Lucia is just beginning to get up on all fours. She will rock back and forth but has yet to travel any great distance. She can only scoot backwards, so she frequently ends up stuck under the couch or a chair. We are quickly becoming panicked at how much baby-proofing our house needs.

It has been beautiful here lately. Last Sunday H and the babies hung out on a blanket while I did a little gardening. The photos are from that day.

The scene: Mazie playing with the box of wipes; Elliott playing with the grass; Lucia lounging on Sipsey; Molasses eating the branches off the fig tree; H taking it all in.

Elliott and Molasses

Lucia and Mazie

Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Hospital

I don't think I have posted about the hospital where our babies were born. It is the Women and Children's hospital for our area. We loved our stay. I can get emotional still when I think of our hospital. This is the place where we felt so comfortable; these are the people to whom we entrusted the care of our babies. Every layer of care at this hospital is great. H and I said several times that the people who worked here seemed as if they really enjoyed coming to work. The ladies who cleaned our room were thorough and personable, actually, a lot of fun. The lady who came to check my vitals every few hours got to know us well. I habitually ate ice while I stayed in the hospital; of course, this would throw off my temperature readings. So, she would chide me and threaten me that I best not eat ice for 20 minutes so she could come back and get an accurate reading. She and I enjoyed picking on one another.

Of course we had the best doctors taking care of us. Our perinatologist gave us excellent care. She was very kind and always very thorough and realistic and forthright. When I would ask her questions where I was fishing for hope of a great outcome, she never caved and gave us empty promises, she always gave us kind realism. I also felt that she trusted me to do what she instructed me to, and I appreciated this consideration. When we first saw our peri she told us that she didn't do surgeries anymore and that our Ob-Gyn would do the surgery. We were excited when she became part of our delivery team and part of the wonderful day that brought our babies into the world. The photo below is of our peri and ob scrubbing in for the section.

Our ob-gyn has a social personality, and her care was also top of the line. She was very cautious. She patiently answered our multitude of questions. She was quick to hospitalize me when my blood pressure crept too far up. She is regarded as an excellent surgeon, and I am evidence of that.

One of H's friends from high school works at our hospital. Casey was so good to us while we were there. She checked in on us everyday and made sure we didn't have any needs. She used to work in Labor and Delivery, but now does research for the hospital. The photo below is of H and Casey.
Both of our doctors had wonderful staff. Shovella, a nurse at the OB clinic, always made us feel like she was glad we were there, despite how crazy busy her day might be going. Our Peri's nurses who we worked with were Debbie and Joyce. Joyce is very sweet and always took her time with us. Debbie is very kind too, but always made sure I knew what I needed to do to take care of the babies in my belly. Debbie is a seasoned nurse and with her you are in excellent hands. The two offices share a team of sonographers, and they were all good. It seems we had Robin for at least half of our plethora of ultrasounds. She was lots of fun and never rushed through an ultrasound. She explained things to us and showed us lots of our babies' features. Our confidence in the hospital's staff never wavered. We are thankful for each of them who helped to bring our babies here safely.

One of the things I love most about our hospital is that it is the hospital for this area that cares for the indigent and uninsured. H and I are so thankful that we are able to afford health insurance for the babies. It is not cheap to insure the five of us and very understandable why some cannot afford to insure their families. Everyone deserves excellent medical attention, especially the tiny babies this hospital so expertly cares for. I am so glad that the doctors, nurses, sonographers and all who cared for us, choose to give that same expertise and attention to everyone. Every mother should feel the care of her babies is in the best possible hands. And at Children's and Women's, we did.

I forgot to mention when I posted about our trip to the beach that the best thing about our Target experience was running into our perinatologist. We were so excited for her to be able to see the babies. She was very sweet and glad to see them. We told her we would bring them by sometime for her staff to see them. So, when I had an OB appointment Thursday we decided to take the babies to the hospital campus. We had a picnic lunch in the park with Casey. We parked at the High-Risk clinic so that we could see Joyce, Debbie, and Robin. Our OB and Shovella got to see the babies after my appointment.

Here is Robin with Mazie. She is the sonographer who told us what a pretty heart Mazie had and got such clear pictures of her four chambers. When I taught school, it was so neat to have old students come by to say hello. I can't imagine how neat and interesting it must be to spend so much time with these little beings before they are babies and then get to see them as little people. Mazie loved getting to meet her favorite sonographer.
This photo is of Joyce with Elliott. Elliott sometimes has stranger anxiety, and he usually is too busy to snuggle, but he clung to Joyce like she was the only person in the world he wanted to see. He kept her shirt tightly grasped in his fist like he didn't ever want her to put him down.
We had a great day seeing these wonderful people who we appreciate so much.

Our First Babysitters

This week was spring break where we live, so I wrangled up two very responsible and lovely sisters to babysit the children so I could get a little done. HA and L are 8 and 11. They were great with the babies. They played and read with them; they worked on skills with them, like crawling and sitting. They even bathed them at the end of the day. They were a big help to me. I spent most of the time transplanting our azaleas. This was something I wanted to do last spring, but was not in the condition to do it. My window was beginning to close on getting the azaleas to their new spots while they were still in bloom, so I was so thankful that I could trust HA and L to take care of the babies so I could get this done. The babies enjoyed their time with the girls and hope they come back to help this summer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Worth More Than a Dollar

At seven months of age the babies have already earned and donated their first dollar.

On Saturday the babies worked their first job. Some of our friends, Mr. Wayne and Miss Pat and their daughter Bonnie, were featured in a commercial that will run throughout the state. They invited us to come and be a part of the day. The commercial is depicting them in their daily lives--work, home, fellowshipping with friends.

We arrived expecting to find about a dozen people with hand-held video cameras. What we found was a crew of forty who made us sign consent forms, had every imaginable type of camera rolling, paid us for our time (a dollar each), directed us where to stand, had shirts for some to change into (if they had advertising on the shirts they wore), brought brightly colored dishes to put food in (since I brought my hot sausage balls in a throw away tin pan, they transferred them to a bright red bowl--much more photogenic). A bluegrass band played great music and we ate lots of barbecue and chicken and other good dishes--all with a good half dozen cameras continually filming.

The babies did great handling all the people and commotion. I think they really enjoyed being outdoors and also listening to the music. They were very comfortable being handed around among the various people.

Then Sunday morning we all went to church where the babies tithed their dollars. They asked to spend them on candy, but we convinced them that donation was a better option for their first earned dollar.

The only bummer of the day was that I took our little point and shoot to document the day--without checking the battery. When I went to take the first photo (of Bonnie getting her hair and make-up done) the camera died. So, I am very sorry that there are no images to help describe the day.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


This morning we woke up early, babies ready to eat. The sky was bright and blue after last night's thunderstorms. The herons have been fishing in the pond and the cardinals have been resting in the fig tree out the kitchen window. Grandpa came through his surgery yesterday well and with good news. And this is the poem I found during my morning reading. Life can be hard at times, but there is so much to be thankful for. And we do, give thanks.

Circles by Mary Oliver

In the morning the blue heron is busy
stepping, slowly, around the edge of the
pond. He is tall and shining. His wings, folded
against his body, fit so neatly they
make of him, when he lifts his shoulders and begins to rise
into the air, a great surprise. Also
he carries so lightly the terrible sword-beak. Then
he is gone over the trees.

I am so happy to be alive in this world
I would like to live forever, but I am
content not to. Seeing what I have seen
has filled me; believing what I believe
has filled me.

The first words of this page are
hardly thought of when the bird
circles back over the trees; it floats down
like an armful of blue flowers, a bundle of light
coming to refresh itself again in the black water, and I think:
maybe it is or it isn't the same bird--maybe it's
the first one's child, or the child of its child.
What I mean is, our deliverance from Time
and the continuance, if we only steward them well,
of earthly things. So maybe it's myself still standing here, or
someone else, like myself hot with the joy of this world, and
filled with praise.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This Week's Doings

We had a good week. We took a walk every day except today. Yesterday I took the babies outside and let them play on a blanket while I did a little yard work. They last a little longer each time we do this. We also played, exercised, and read each day. We opened the front door during the day to enjoy the spring air.

The babies are beginning to annoy one another at times. When we went to Georgia the middle of March, we had our first toy stealing. Lucia was playing with a silver rattle that Grandpa and NanaLin had given them. Lucia was shaking it, as babies tend to do with rattles, and Elliott was transfixed. He had to have it. He pulled himself over and wrestled it out of her hand. I don't think she really understood what happened.

Since then he has decided that all toys are under his domain and he can take what he wishes. This doesn't always happen, but usually occurs a couple times a day. I try to let the babies play on the floor together without me for some time during each day; here is a picture of that:

I need to clarify about Elliott's crawling. He has taken a few "steps" of crawling and is right on the cusp, but crawling is not the means by which he travels. He is still pulling himself around by his hands. Lucia is content to stay in one place; Mazie is beginning to pull herself around by her hands. The days of stationary play are beginning to draw to an end; it frightens me.

Today I fed the babies avocado. They didn't love it. I am just guessing, but I think they found the texture odd. The babies had gotten less messy with the carrots, but, as you can see below, the avocado created quite the little disaster.

Lucia, spitting out avocado:

Elliott, tentatively taking a taste:
Mazie, face #1:

Face #2:

Face #3: (see her cute little spring chicken hair-do?)
Face #4: smiling, after throwing up the avocado

Between the three of them, I only fed them a fourth of an avocado, however, it looks like they each played with an extra large serving of guacamole. I don't know if any avocado actually ended up in their bellies.

One thing they are really starting to enjoy is the hand-held shower head I use to rinse them off. They love for me to spray their bellies while they touch the water stream with their hands. Here is Elliott studying the water spray with his hands and foot.

Here is a photo of Lucia napping with Pink Pearl. For the longest time we kept all loveys out of their cribs. We have just started letting them nap with these stuffed animals and their loveys. We don't let them sleep with blankets; we take them out of the crib as soon as they are asleep.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our Evening Walk

Today was such a pretty day that we thought you might like to come on a walk with us. I usually walk the babies between five and six in the evening. That tends to be their fussiest time of day and my fussiest time of day. The fresh air really helps our attitudes.

First we strike out across the dam toward the horse pasture. The pond was built after we moved here; it was lots of fun to watch such an undertaking occur right in our front yard. That is Sipsey--ready to go.

We pass by the horses: Pistol on the left, One Gun on the right. These are H's Quarter horses. Scout is in the middle. All three of the babies have now been able to pet Onsie's soft nose. He was sweet to them.

Then we come to the barn. Sometimes we bring scraps to the chickens. The white chicken is Chic Chick (not chik chik but sheek chik). The other hens are Rhode Island Reds. They are good layers. We have about a half dozen of them.

This is the rooster. He is a game chicken. I think game chickens are beautiful. They do a better job at surviving free-range than the Rhode Islands. We had the Rhode Islands in a pen for a good while. We have lost several since moving them to the barn. We rarely see them, but sometimes at night we hear coyotes. There are also foxes and hawks for the chickens to contend with.

Here is a better picture of chic chic. She was at the barn before the Rhode Island Reds moved in. She reminds them of it too.

Before we leave the barn, we look over at the pretty place where we live.

The next thing we pass after leaving the barn is the goat and sheep pasture. The four animals up front are the goats. Those in the background are the sheep. The goats are H's, the sheep Papa's. The goats, starting with the closest, are Brownie, Priscilla, Presley, and Verma Lee.

Here are the sheep again. Those that look like deer are Mouflon sheep; those with the ram horns are black-bellied Barbados sheep. They are very shy creatures. Papa Glenn has had them about a year and has already doubled his flock. I think he has had six lamb this spring.
This fifth goat is Aubie. She thinks she is a cross between a human and a dog. This is the goat we got from the family who wanted to get rid of her because she was peeing on their couch. Luckily, we have not had that problem with her. She talks a lot. She seems to annoy the other goats at times, but they still love her.
After we walk the fence of the sheep pasture, we come down a hill and pass the cow pond. This pond has been here forever. H's dad built it when he had cows. The lily pads are beautiful when they are in bloom.

Here is another pretty spring photo of the cow pond. The dogs love to swim in it to cool off during the middle of our walks.

Not soon after the cow pond we pass a large patch of wild ferns. There are sporadic wild ferns throughout our walk, but this is a whole slew of them.

There is the occasional piece of trash we pass on our walk. Across from the ferns there is this insert and heel piece of a shoe. I need to come up with a good story of how it got there by the time the children are old enough to ask about it.

Then we head out on the main dirt road. H's parents and us are the only people who live down the dirt road so there is usually no traffic. This interesting specimen looks like some sort of mushroom made out of coffee grounds. I am not sure what it is, but I notice it every time we walk past it.

Often the dogs go ahead of us and scout things out. This is a piece of the main dirt road down past both the houses.

Here is another perplexing item we get to ponder on our walks: a scattering of oyster shells.

The babies and I are watching this big mess of blackberries. Once they are ready, we hope to get to them before the birds do.

Right now we are turning around at the old Woody house. I am not sure why it is called that, but that is what everyone calls it, so I do too. It has an old Coke machine on the front porch--a sign that a house has had lots of good times. No one has lived in this house since H was a child. A mama buzzard has lived in it for several years now. As I took the picture mean Scout went in and flushed her out. She sits on one egg each spring and the baby always has white hair that stands straight up on its head--kind of like Mazie.

Here we are traveling back. Several places in our walk are stretches of country lanes with such pretty canopies of trees. It gets ungodly hot here in the summer. The trees and shade at various places in our walk will help to keep things just unbearably hot as opposed to ungodly hot.

Here is a pretty wild fern hanging out by itself.

This is the third and last pond we pass on our walk. It is called the old pond. It is pretty low, but still pretty. The dogs usually cool off in it too. Our house is to the left, H's parents' to the right.

This is Scout, the half-coyote dog, running back toward us full force. She took off into the woods, probably after some defenseless fawn or rabbit.

This is the ramp we take back to our porch. We built it before we knew we were going to be having three babies at once--good fortune.

Once back inside, the babies play on the floor so they can stretch out after being confined to the baby Bjorn and stroller, and we get the beer from the freezer that we placed there before we started out on our walk so that it would be cold and slushy upon our return. We hope you enjoyed walking with us today. We enjoyed you; you were very good company.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Back in the Country

Our time at the beach was good. It was nice to be off as a family. We stayed together the entire time. This means we didn't send one mama out on errands; anytime there was somewhere to go, we all went. And, it all went just fine.
Thursday, after our orthopedic appointment, we took the babies out to eat. We got to eat about a third of our meal before we headed out the door. My threshold for our babies causing noise in someone else's space is pretty low right now. Once two of the babies became fussy, we bolted. Then we took the babies on their first excursion to Target. They enjoyed the experience, looking around and taking in all the sights and sounds. I think the trip went well because not one of them asked if we would buy them something. We bought the babies sunglasses and bathing suits and a little blow-up pool. We were in the mood for some beach action, but the cool weather kept us at bay. We never made it, too windy and cool. We did take nice walks each day, visited with the neighbors and enjoyed our family time.

I will say this: You know you are toting around triplets at the beach when you don't end up at the beach and when you eat chicken for supper every night: no shrimp, oysters, or snapper for us this trip. (One of the things I periodically craved throughout my pregnancy was a half dozen on the half shell with a bloody mary.) But, we realized that more beach time, whether we actually make it to the beach or not, is a good idea.

Here is a photo of the girls (LM) playing in the cabin:
In annoying parental fashion, we did dress the babies in their new suits and sunglasses for a photo opportunity. Elliott shows off the sun hat his Mama Bee bought him at Target.

Elizabeth Lucia:

Elliott Kimbrough:

Mazie Bell: